Google acquired Meebo recently to beef up its social offerings, and while we’ll probably start to see some of Meebo’s features show up in Google products eventually, existing Meebo users are in for some big changes.
On July 11th, 2012 Meebo is shutting down:
- Meebo Messenger: A web-based chat client for AIM, Google Talk, Windows Live, and other services
- Meebo Mobile apps: Chat apps for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry
- Sharing on Meebo: A tool that lets users share items and find items matching their interests
- Meebo Me: Meebo widgets that you could embed on a website
One of the nifty things about Meebo’s messenger apps has been the ability to store logs of your online conversations. If you don’t want your entire chat history to disappear on July 11th, you have until then to download your logs. Meebo has also set up an easy link for anyone that wants to delete their account right now.
Web publishers who are using the Meebo social bar on their websites will be able to continue using it — and Meebo will continue pushing new features. This is most likely the primary tool Google acquired Meebo for — although I wouldn’t be horribly disappointed if we saw some of the multi-protocol chat features brought to Google Talk and Gmail.
Goodbye Meebo Messenger, hello Trillian
I’ve actually been using Meebo’s web-based messenger as my primary IM app for the past few years, since it allows me to login from any computer with a web browser without installing any software. As soon as I learned Google was acquiring Meebo, I figured the app’s days were numbered and looked for an alternative.
The best I’ve found so far, comes from the folks at Trillian, long-time makers of cross-platform chat applications. Trillian offers a web-based chat app, and it’s also available in the Chrome Web store as a web app for Google Chrome and Chrome OS.
I prefer the look and feel of Meebo Messenger, but Trillian offers the same basic chat functionality, plus support for email notifications, but minus the chat logs.
Messenger apps for Mobile
Meebo offers one of the best cross-platform instant messaging apps for iOS, but the company’s Android app has always been a little more mediocre. Still, if you’re using Meebo on mobile, you’ve only got a little while to switch to an alternative. Here are some of the better options available:
Trillian also makes mobile apps for Android, iOS, and BlackBerry. And of course, BlackBerry’s BBM messenger service is still one of the most popular ways to send instant messages from a mobile device.
If you have other suggestions for mobile or web chat apps, let us know in the comments.